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Suffolk County shows support for Ronkonkoma development

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The Suffolk County Legislature has voted to join the town of Islip to help fund the construction of a major retail and hospitality hub in Ronkonkoma.

The Midway Crossing proposal calls for 2.7 million square feet of construction. It would include a convention center, hotel, new MacArthur Airport terminal and a walkway connecting the airport to the Long Island Rail Road station in Ronkonkoma.

A local development corporation will raise money for the project through tax-exempt bonds, and state and federal grants.

The corporation will include three Suffolk County appointees, three Islip town appointees and one chair appointed by both legislatures.

Construction is expected to cost almost $3 billion and would take at least a decade to finish.

Suffolk County Economic Development and Planning Commissioner Sarah Lansdale said she expects the project to generate $4 billion in economic activity.

Lansdale predicted that 10,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs will be created by the project.

Molly is a news fellow, working on the Long Story Short, Higher Ground, and other podcasts at WSHU.